Museveni has begun metamorphosing Uganda into a new landscape

If we Ugandans do not put our act together quickly, we are going to lose Uganda as we have known it. Museveni who began preparations as early as 1965 (Bahororo failure to get a separate district in Ankole at independence and political ascendancy of Bairu in Ankole disturbed him) came to power with a clear mission known to himself and his inner core of Bahororo people – (1) the ascendancy of Bahororo in Uganda’s political economy and great lakes region (Tutsi Empire), and (2) metamorphosis of Uganda into a new landscape.

Museveni was also aware that these transformations would take a long time to be realized. That is why he initially asked for a fifteen year mandate which has turned out to be inadequate. During an interview on New Year’s Day (2011), Museveni declined to indicate when he would quit Uganda’s political stage. The impression he gave left no doubt that he is still around for a while possibly by force should Ugandans refuse to re-elect him. What he has not admitted is that he thought (wrongly) that he would quickly trample on Ugandans through wars and impoverishment and reduce them to insignificant vulnerable minority and transform Uganda into a new landscape ecologically, economically, demographically and politically without difficulty. Ugandans have turned out to be resilient in the face of wars, pandemics, epidemics and impoverishment and are still kicking with considerable force that cannot be ignored.

The resilience of Uganda people is gathering momentum as Ugandans understand that Museveni misgoverned deliberately (poor education and health systems and food insecurity etc) and facilitated British neo-colonization of Uganda (through return of Asians and British businesses and management of Uganda economy by British experts through ministry of finance and central bank) to weaken indigenous citizens. You need to read stories on Ugandans-at-Heart Forum to grasp Ugandans’ vibrancy in ideas and dynamic determination to regain control of their country.

During an interview with John Nagenda, a point was raised about race in southwest Uganda. Museveni is reported to have said that while people in southwest/western Uganda were linguistically the same, they were racially different. To avoid being accused of racism, he suggested that the matter be investigated. We investigated and reported that Bahororo, Bahima and Bairu in western Uganda are all black people. There was no racial difference. However, comments from Bahororo in southwest Uganda continue to paint Bahororo as superior to Bairu, implying a superior race of ‘Aryan’ people – Bahororo.

Since Museveni came to power he has consistently used the term metamorphosis which simply means to transfigure in appearance, glory and in relations etc. In other words Uganda would have a new landscape culturally, geographically, politically, demographically and developmentally etc. Those of us in the development business thought Museveni meant agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions that transformed the present developed countries from agrarian societies of Uganda today. And we supported him. However, as time passed, Museveni kept talking about metamorphosis but agriculture, industry and technology suffered from neglect. We began to look at things differently – to examine his actions rather than be guided by his statements. What have we observed?

First, if you look at the administrative map of Uganda you cannot fail to notice that there has been a metamorphosis of district boundaries. At one stage Uganda had eighteen districts. Now we have over 100 districts, so tiny and so economically unviable that other aspects of human life will be adversely metamorphosed in due course.

Originally decentralization was promoted to bring services and decision making processes closer to the people. And none would quarrel with that at face value. While Museveni presented decentralization in the sense of better service delivery, he had a different idea in practice – divide the country along tribal or community lines and kill the national unity project and govern the country on a divide and rule basis much worse than in colonial days. So apart from district boundary metamorphosis, the national unity project has suffered serious psychical damage. Ugandans who have not grasped the danger continue to demand more districts. We need to wake up to reality and stop this craze.

Second, since the 19th century, Buganda and Baganda have played a prominent role in Uganda politics, economy and administration. Their administrative structures were adopted in the rest of Uganda. Britain hired Baganda as agents in religious and administrative matters throughout the country. Buganda was the center of economic growth, infrastructural and social transformations – roads, schools and health facilities spread out from Buganda. The first national political figures were Baganda – Musazi, Kiwanuka, Ssemogerere etc as well as business figures. After independence key ministries and departments of finance and central bank in particular went to Baganda, not forgetting the first president of independent Uganda. But these are Bantu/Negro or black people who cannot and should not exercise superiority over the superior “Aryan” race of Bahororo people.

On March 15, 1992 Bahororo leaders from Ntungamo and Rujumbura met at Museveni’s home at Rwakitura. After a blessing by a Protestant Bishop, Bahororo discussed and agreed on a roadmap to bring them to the top of Ugandan society. Bahororo would get the best education, best jobs, most lucrative business, key and strategic positions in government especially finance and foreign affairs. All branches of security forces would be monopolized by Bahororo and the new energy sector has been added. Consequently, in education (until recently chairman of Makerere University Council), head of Revenue Authority, spokesman of ministry of finance, minister and permanent secretary and Ambassador to USA are all Bahororo.

Before 1986, these positions were held by Baganda. No more – and it was Baganda who ushered Bahororo into power! It is possible that some prominent Ugandans who pose as Baganda could be Bahororo who use Luganda language and Kiganda names but have remained Bahororo in other ways. Bahororo men do not marry Baganda women. So for all intents and purposes they are Bahororo, not Baganda.

So this is another major metamorphosis rapidly taking place. The so-called Baganda from Sembabule, Mawokota etc are actually mostly Batutsi, Bahima and Bahororo increasingly dominating Lukiiko, Uganda parliament and civil service in the name of Buganda when they are not. If Baganda are going to survive and regain lost ground and glory, they have to wake up to this reality. Keeping Museveni in power erodes their being with each passing day. Baganda must understand this dilemma they are confronted with fully and clearly in order to address it commensurately. The first place to begin is at the polling stations on February 18, 2011 when wolves should be separated from sheep. And from now on Baganda must know who is who in their midst – Buganda being such a huge melting pot.

Third, Bahororo are essentially nomadic people and as such they need more land to roam about with their long horn cattle. Museveni still grazes long horn cattle by thousands and has not accepted zero grazing. Grazing takes place in drier and grassy areas unsuitable for crop cultivation. Ugandans with strong dialectical minds should have noticed that Uganda is turning drier and more grassland is spreading at the expense of woodland and forests.

FAO has written a report showing that at present rate, Uganda will become a semi or desert within 100 years. There is clear evidence that Uganda is becoming drier and hotter. Agricultural land is shrinking, rivers have disappeared, spring wells are gone and areas that once grew crops twice a year are now doing so in one season and with poor results. Have you heard Museveni addressing this problem seriously?

Instead, Museveni is encouraging rural-urban migration. With Uganda becoming drier, more grassland is going to be available for cattle grazing. And who has the money to buy land and cattle for grazing? It is Bahororo. Check and you will find Bahororo are investing in land more than any other group. Sooner rather than later Uganda is going to change from what Winston Churchill described it as the “Pearl of Africa” suitable for tropical food and agricultural production to a semi-desert like Botswana suitable for cattle herding and beef production. That is the metamorphosis Museveni has in mind – pastoralists replacing agriculturalists – and he is getting there!

Fourth, Museveni is also working on a demographic metamorphosis through immigration and eugenics – rich replacing the poor (those interested in eugenics see pages 71-75 of my book “Uganda’s Development Agenda” available at and for details read Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak” 2003 available at

Museveni has a two pronged strategy – allowing unlimited flow of migrants mostly of skilled people from around the world while Ugandans increasingly become functionally illiterate. East African integration and federation will bring in new skilled people especially from Kenya. Second, without saying it openly Museveni is advising the rich Ugandans to produce as many children as possible because they can afford to feed, house, clothe and send them to school without burdening the state.

At the same time especially since 1996/97 Uganda introduced free primary education limited to four children per family. Those families that had more than four children would pay full tuition and other charges to educate them. However, assistance with birth control would be provided to those who wanted to prevent the birth of another child. Since then contraceptive use particularly among poor Ugandans has increased from 15 to 24 percent. But this increase in use of birth control and subsequent decline in fertility from 7.1 children per woman to 6.4 have not been mentioned in the 2010 report on Uganda’s population status which continue to paint a bleak and wrong picture that high fertility causes population explosion. Let us make it clear once again, fertility does not cause population growth, it is rapid mortality decline – and mortality decline has not been rapid in Uganda to cause an explosion because of wars, pandemics and epidemic diseases. If there has been a major increase in population growth, then it is due to massive migrants. And migrants were not addressed in the report. This seriously defective report has now become the reference document on Uganda’s population policy formulation. I brought these defects to the ministry of finance, planning and economic development for correction – none has happened.

In 2002 while addressing the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children in New York on May 8, 2002, Museveni specifically referred to child spacing and family planning which is another name for birth control. Since this time Uganda has become a center of seminars, workshops, missions and publications. Unfortunately the approach has been one-sided attracting pro-birth control experts and publications. I have submitted articles for publication in Uganda newspapers without success because my views and approaches are different.

I favor combining voluntary birth control with education of girls and empowerment of women that reduce the number of children. Keeping children in schools involves school lunches but Museveni has totally and single handed rejected the idea of school lunches by anybody. Poor Uganda women are being subjected to birth control programs while at the same time being denied skills and empowerment to be able to manage their reproduction.

In the end the population size of the poor in Uganda will shrink and that of the rich mostly migrants will raise. Although Museveni is reported to have denied that Uganda will become another Ivory Coast, the demographic trajectory is pointing in that direction. There is no question about that. Denying what is obvious is not honorable. And that is why information on migration was not included in the 2010 population report because it probably would have confirmed that population of migrants is growing faster than indigenous population.

Records on migrants and vital statistics have been reported stolen so it is going to be difficult to determine the contribution of migration to Uganda’s population growth. Until this is done we should stop blaming natural population growth as the only factor which it is not and impose birth control on poor women who then suffer severe side effects including loss of sexual interest.

Fifth, Museveni is metamorphosing Uganda from community to individual status. Assisted by structural adjustment and globalization with focus on individualism, profit motive and individual or family advancement, the idea of community service is disappearing fast. Unemployment and spreading and deepening poverty have accelerated the demise of community consciousness. Corruption which means enriching yourself at the expense of your relative or employer has contributed to a break down in communal support systems seriously corroding that age old landscape.

In order to do these things with minimum detection, Museveni from early on decided to exclude Ugandans with knowledge and confidence to challenge major digression that would inflict harm. Ugandans in exile were urged to stay there while adoption of dual citizenship has encouraged non-Bahororo Ugandans that do not have decent jobs in government to leave the country. Museveni has since 1987 relied on foreign advisers to metamorphose Uganda as described above. Therefore it is these foreigners like Ambassador De Visscher of EU who possibly know Museveni’s vision hidden to Ugandans that can say with confidence that as De Visscher said Museveni is “a very capable, visionary politician”. To the majority of Ugandans Museveni is an incapable leader whose 25 year vision is leading Uganda towards a steep cliff economically, socially, ecologically and politically.

To conclude Museveni’s metamorphosis has (1) transformed the administrative (district) boundary map of Uganda, (2) promoted Bahororo ascendancy that has dwarfed Baganda’s past glory (3) transformed significantly Uganda’s green land suitable for crop cultivation into a semi-desert ecology suitable for grazing, (4) urged the rich to increase their population through skilled migrants and war against the poor through eugenics or birth control techniques and (5) increased individualism over communal responsibility. These are major transformational changes. To stop consolidation of this transformational trajectory one option is open to Ugandans – defeat Museveni at the polls on February 18, 2011. If this opportunity is missed Uganda and Ugandans will pay a very heavy price indeed.